Jesus is the awaited Messiah from king David’s lineage. That is why, as he enters Jerusalem, the crowds cheer him with hosannas.
Jesus does not turn down the hosannas of the crowds, which shows that he is quite aware that he is the Messiah. He shows no inferiority complex.
But nor does he show any triumphalism before those who take him to be the Messiah that God has promised. He lets them know that their hosannas fit him; yet he is not the messiah of their dreams.
He is the Messiah, yes, but not in the same way as David. The king rode a horse of war in triumph. For his part, he shows that he is the meek Messiah; he rides a borrowed colt. Or maybe, commandeered, since he is the ruler.
But Jesus’ anointing and kingship are not those of the leaders of the Gentiles. For they consist in this: to serve and to give his life as a ransom for all (Mk 10, 42-45). So then, hosannas gain meaning and prove true if they point to the cross.
True hosannas are those that hail the King of love on Calvary.
It bears repeating now and then that the cross of Jesus is his glory as the royal Messiah. And so, we Christians are to boast in the cross of Christ (Gal 6, 14).
It is easy for us in Christian countries to boast in the cross and make the sign of the cross. Or turn the cross into a sign that one, a building or a thing belongs to the Crucified.
But what is harder is to boast in the cross more by living for Christ than by dying for him. For our hosannas mean for most of us to bear “the cross day-in and day-out ….”
No, there is no doubt that to boast in the cross, to want to die like Jesus, asks that we live like him (SV.EN I:276). After all, his death flows from his option for the poor and the powerless. He spends his life for them, and so, how his life ends starts as he gives his body up and sheds his blood.
Lord Jesus, grant that our hosannas proclaim that you gave your life for us. And make your love that no one can fathom strengthen us to give our lives for others.
28 March 2021
Palm Sunday (B)
Mk 11, 1-10; Is 50, 4-7; Phil 2, 6-11; Mk 14, 1 – 15, 47